7. Proverbs 1:1-6 The Personality Of Wisdom
The Aim v.2-4
To Acknowledge v.2 To know wisdom and instruction;
Wisdom is acquired by knowing instruction. Instruction is the Hebrew word “musar” and occurs twenty-six times in Proverbs, it’s rendered not just instruction but also “chasten,” and once “chastening.” It means child training and discipline. All learning that results in a skill comes through the effort of discipline.
So to genuinely know wisdom, which is the real goal of learning, we have to be disciplined. Wisdom is skill in a specific area.
Christopher Parkening is celebrated as one of the world’s preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar. For more than a quarter century, his concerts and recordings have received the high worldwide acclaim. Andrés Segovia proclaimed him one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world.
In his biography, “Grace Like a River” he tells of his father waking him at 5am every morning to practice the guitar at a very early age. He learned wisdom in classical guitar by persevering in this daily discipline to master his craft.
I’m not a wise or skilled carpenter, or a mechanic. I don’t have skill as a pilot and I lack the wisdom of being a Doctor or Lawyer. To be able to build a house or overhaul a car I would need to discipline myself in how to read instructions, then follow those disciplined plans, and employ the correct tools and materials to achieve the end result that would appear as a wisely constructed structure.
In the various varieties of wise skills we learn by the study of books, passing tests and practicing on the area of wisdom we want to be capable in. All this takes discipline.
Reaching a wise goal takes disciplined effort, correction of error; in an environment that has exacting expectations.
If its wisdom in a skilled occupation, wisdom in a hobby, wisdom in an athletic ability, or wisdom in using a musical instrument it all takes discipline to achieve some ability and excellence. The higher the degree of discipline the deeper the prosperity in the skill of interest.
In the area of God’s wisdom and growing in spiritual things, there needs to be moral wisdom, character development, diligence in learning God’s principles, purposes and designs.
Then, there has to be a vision of the value of what we desire wisdom in, and that vision will create a passion and motivation to learn.
We are not born wise, but we all begin as infants, completely needy and dependent. Child training begins immediately, and hopefully tenderly, to develop an element of wisdom to function and survive.
We all have a natural desires and a tendency to react as babies, and gradual instruction brings us along to maturity. The more we respond in positive change to training, and see the importance of restraining natural desires that are lazy, harmful and risky, to greater we succeed, and the wiser we become.
We each have talents, gifts and potentials, but we will fall short of our capabilities, and shrink our capacities, if we don’t know the value of instruction, discipline, and the importance of chastening and correction from God.
The Lord’s training is not philosophical; it’s not just academic, nor is it merely the accumulation of theoretical facts and information. God trains us as a father in practical, real world, applicable sensibility.
Jesus in Revelation 3:19 said those who I love I discipline.
God warned David after Bathsheba had David’s child that the child would die. This was instruction, imposed discipline.
2 Sam. 12:13-14 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also has put away your sin; you won’t die.
David was forgiven and God didn’t remove his life. But the Lord taught him to know wisdom by discipline.
But, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto you will surely die. (the baby lived for 7 days)
Does our life or our actions make those who are against God blaspheme Him. To blaspheme means to say God is worthless. When others look at our life and our claims about Jesus, does our behavior make faith in Jesus look meaningless, insignificant and pointless?
David begged the Lord not to take the baby.
David said, 2 Sam. 12:22-23 while the child is alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, who can tell whether God will be gracious to me that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
David knew he would see the baby in heaven and he accepted and surrendered to the Lord’s discipline.
Proverbs is God’s practical wisdom. This is as a workshop on life, almost like a life lab.
All of God’s Word comes directly from His heart and is breathed through those He chose to write and compose His Word into various sections. He elected writers who he trained in His wisdom through imposed discipline that each writer translated this instruction into self-discipline.
The Word is profitable to teach us the truth. The Word reproves and convicts us of lies, deception and error. The Word corrects us redirecting us to stand straight and live right. The Word instructs us, training through discipline in right character.
As Phillips writes: discipline commands us, convicts, corrects, and counsels us. It curbs us, commends us, and comforts us.
Heb. 4:12 state the Word of God is a discerner of our thoughts. God’s Word is a critic of the feelings, beliefs and the intents of our heart. As we read the Word of God, it probes into the inner recesses of our beings and explores all our motives. It divides between what’s spiritual discipline and what’s carnal laziness, what’s selfish and what’s of God for His honor and love.
Jesus in John 2:25 says: He knows what is in a man’s heart. The impact of Jesus comment is that our natural inclination is opposed to God and His wisdom.
The unwise don’t want to be disturbed or agitated in any way.
Luke 4:34 is the heart echo:
Let us alone; what have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Are You come to destroy us? We know You, who You are; the Holy One of God.
The unwise tend to resist and reject spiritual things
Some look at the Word of God and think it’s weird to understand and doesn’t jive with the world’s wisdom.
1 Corinthians 2:14 the natural man doesn’t receive the things of the Spirit of God: they are foolishness to him: he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The unwise feel Spirit stuff is unacceptable. God may train instructing by circumstances. But if we are unwise it just doesn’t make sense to us, so we avoid God’s perspective.
Receiving and accepting Jesus Christ by living for Him is different then just agreeing with some historical and intellectual facts about Christ.
To really believe in Jesus means we walk with Him and listen to Him and want to grow in Christ through His Word. This means we hunger to be wise. But if it is inconvenient to our real feelings maybe we only want Jesus if He’s convenient.
Unfortunately Jesus is not convenient for the schemes of the limits of earth’s viewpoint and His wisdom is opposite to conventional secular wisdom.
In Jeremiah’s time Israel was in captivity under the Lord’s hand of discipline for their idolatry of putting other things as a priority over love for God. But the Lord still had loving thoughts to them and spoke through Jeremiah to them.
Jer. 29:11-12 God wanted them to have what is best. Jeremiah said, the Lord isn’t against you in this discipline, He’s your friend and He’s uplifting for you.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then will you call upon me, and you will go and pray to me, and I will hearken unto you. And you will seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, says the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, says the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
God’s wants us to respond even though we get all down wondering how we should live.
Ezk. 33:10 If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
God says we need to know his discipline and instruction. They complained about God’s dealings with them, but God says to turn to Him and have life.
Ezk. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?